0121 607 816522 High Street Sutton Coldfield Birmingham B72 1UX 8 Jeremy Grove Solihull Birmingham B92 8JH
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Birmingham Surveyors Home Buyers Surveys and Building Reports
The problems in this building were all caused by the blocking up of a former coal drop and a lack of any other underfloor vents. Without good ventialtion cellars become damp. Still air also encourages dry rot which had infested a timber door frame. The problem with dry rot is that it can travel from a source of moisture to other parts of the building which are dry, and if disturbed the fruits can expell millions of spores. The cellar also had a small plant growing on the wall which is probably wet rot.Beetles also like damp timber. Dust form their boring has been trappd by the cobwebs. The cellar also contained an open flued boiler which in an unventilated cellar would casue an extreme danger of carbon monoxide poisioning
This property has been constructed with a shared side path and side doors to reduce plot width saving land costs. The walls are solid and will be cold.
The property also has an angled ceiling in the annex again to reduce the expense of constructing full room height walls. The angle is unlikely to be insulated and will be cold and prone to condensation. It may be possible to push rigid insulation down from the roof void. Stuffing soft insulation into the angles should be avoided as it prevents ventilation encouraging condensation.
Our Birmingham property surveyors were unconcerned by a solider arch that had dropped as it was probably due to historic foundation movement and as the bricks drop they jamb tightly together thus repairing the arch.
Our property surveyors were much more concerned by a leaking downpipe as the water can easily soak through the solid walls. Large escapes of water can trigger dry rot decay.
Our property surveyors were also alerted by a missing chimney breast. Most pre WWII reception rooms have a chimney breast. The lack of one in this room may be indicated to our property surveyos that the first floor attic chimney breast is no longer supported.
Typical 1930's semi detached house. The elevations have been rendered to save money by avoiding the need to purchase and carefully lay expensive facing bricks. The render had been given sharp edges at the openings using metal beads. Unfortunately these were corroding leaving unsightly stains. The only remedy is to chop them out and re render which requires skill to blend the new into the old. The house then has to be repainted unless matching paint is available. The roof surface had formed a dish shape due to a slightly substandard structure in which a major component was undersized and had sagged slightly. An outbuilding had a fractured concrete roof. Apart from letting water into the outbuildings this is potentially problematic as the reinforcing may start to corrode forcing concrete of the roof until it is eventually destroyed. The property had the original quarry tile floor in the kitchen. This was uneven due to the sand or ash on which it had been laid compacting unevenly. The tiles and particularly the joints are likely to be damp as there is no damp proof membrane under. Such floors need to be kept uncovered and well ventilated. Roots had also invaded a drain and were catching water material. Fortunately this was at an early stage and the chamber had not filled.
Typical 1950's bungalow of brick construction with purpose built roof void bedrooms.
The property had extensive moss growth which is often an indicator that there is no insulation in the roof. The moss was blocking rainwater goods and impeding water flow off the roof.
The thin roof and sides of the dormer are likely to have limited if any insulation. Improvement is difficult without removing the internal plaster. There was also no insulation on the back of the roof void room partitions. Angled ceilings were partly insulated but with blanket insulation which when stuffed into small voids will impede important ventilation which reduces the risk of condensation. Rigid insulation should be used with a gap above for ventilation.
Other defects included no hand basin between the toilet and kitchen sink, a leaking felt roof damp and decaying skirting boards and a leaking radiator valve.
Birmingham semi-detached house with cellar and attic room from just after the turn of the century. The chimneys have been demolished probably because they were in very poor condition from attack by condensates of combustion and the original tiles roof replaced with a modern concrete tile one which raised concern about the structures ability to support the extra weight. Poor cellar ventilation had encouraged dampness which has caused decay of the floor structure and encouraged beetles to infest the floor planks. There was no protecting the occupier of the attic room from fire and the stairs to the attic room were steep with winding treads and difficult to use in the dark. External redner appeared to have used plaster rather than a sand and lime render which would make it vulnerable to water damage. The property had old lead water supply pipe and a corroding metal gas pipe. Insualtion of the attic room was considerably substandard.
Typical semi-detached three storey house with cellar from just before WWI. The Roof surface is life expired and has also distorted due to a sub standard structure which has probably resulted from having to accommodate the dormer window. There are no fire doors on the landings or halls to protect the occupier of the roof void rooms or to allow an escape corridor. The garage roof was also like expired due the slates delaminating and the structure was also substandard and had a decayed joist end. Boundary walls had suffered considerable loss of their faces. Yew trees in the garden are extremely toxic and a beech tree is a maintenance liability and may have protection order. The period nature of the house and others in the road means it is likely to be in a conservation area.
This Birmingham RICS Surveyor Expert Witness report report related to an extension with lantern roof that had been constructed in the place of a relocated conservatory. The relocted conservatory was at high risk of fracturing as no ground preperation had been undertaken before pouring the concrete foundations. The extension floor has been laid at the wrong level and had a slope in it as it approched the existing house. The slope has created a dam that filled up whist the extension roof had yet to be constructed vausing a pond of water to distort the existing dwellings door. It appears that the installation of the underfloor heating elements had been forgotten when pouring the floor as channels had been retrospetively cut out to house them. Unfortuantely the channles beared no relationship to any underfloor heting elements on the market and made no provision for insulation to stop heat loss ot the ground. The channels would also have resulted in the heating elements being too widly spaced The the roof structure had not been bolted together properly and steel lintels were sitting on out of plumb bearings which are likely to cause the bearing to try and rotate. A bock wall rocked when pushed with a hand. Our RICS Expert Surveyor thought that the extension would have to be demolished.
Defects included thick joints with ragged edges and no attempt made to clean off the grout. Tiles not set in plumb with bead strips used to edge the windows. Failure to use a bead strip at an internal corner resulting in unclean joints. Grout left all over the bath and the owners tile floor. Neither horizontal or vertical joints are in alignment. The £750.00 paid by the owner for the work is a complete waste of money as all the tiles will have to be removed do anything like a proper job. Failure of the job will be due to simple ommissions of using tile spacers a corner bead and spirit level.
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